Definition - What does Heterogeneity mean?

Heterogeneity is the characteristic of an object or fluid to have different quality or property from other fluids or objects in its vicinity. Heterogeneity mixtures are not uniform and have different properties.

Heterogeneity is completely opposite of homogeneity. A simple example for heterogeneity is the mixture of water and oil. A small part of oil gets mixed with water and rest remains unmixed. Also the properties of both liquids are not uniform.

Petropedia explains Heterogeneity

Heterogeneity concepts can be applied in understanding the geology and reservoir conditions deep below the earth's surface. This is due to the fact that one reservoir has different properties with other reservoirs close to its vicinity. This means that the hydrocarbons do not form a mixture and remain separated from each other.

In terms of rock geology, heterogeneity explains the quality of variations of rock properties with the locations of the formations of hydrocarbons. Shale gas reservoirs are heterogeneous formations whose mineralogy, organic content, natural fractures, and other properties vary from place to place.

Heterogeneity helps geologists and scientists to understand the petroleum system modeling and evaluate hydrocarbon formations at various nearby locations. It also helps in reservoir simulations and allows them to analyze which reservoir may help in maximizing the production levels and thus, return on investment to an E&P organization.

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